I started “Summer’s Circle” on March 11th. I finished just before 2 am this morning. I know many writers participate in NaNoWriMo and can accomplish the month deadline but for me this is definitely a new record.
One of the big reasons for this accomplishment is because I finally followed my own advice. Maybe not all of it, but a lot of the articles I’ve written helped me focus in on the goal and helped me realize I didn’t have to float around in writing limbo.
Here’s what helped me the most:
- I resisted editing as I went. No edits. I just powered through. If i realized something wasn’t working, i made a note of it and continued you.
- I kept a notes document. When I was stuck on the content, or unsure how something would play out, I made notes. I kept names of characters and places so I wouldn’t have to scan 100 some pages if they came up again. I wrote out theories, ideas and endings, as well as a running list of things I know I will have to fix when its time to edit.
- I didn’t let the inspiration run out on me. When I became clear that I was going strong with this story, i kept the momentum going. I wrote every night.
- I pushed through when it started to slow down and figured out how to get to the next exciting part.
- I started with an outline. I knew where the story was going and the major points it hit along the way.
- I didn’t let the outline rule me. Alot of interesting twists showed up in the story that I didn’t plan for.
- When things got slow in the story, I moved onto the next action point. It kept me interested in writing.
- I avoided TV and books until I was done (Mostly. Daredevil did get me eventually, but I would only allow myself to watch after I wrote two chapters each night).
- I gave myself some breaks. Nights out with friends. Mental Health nights. Strict rules and schedules suck the joy out of things for me and writing a first draft should be a joy.
- I wrote knowing I would need lots of edits. Lots and lots of edits. It was liberating. Instead of wincing over my overuse of passive verbs, i just wrote.What I have now is not my best work. It will become so through edits.
So there you go. Maybe it will work for you too on your next project. And if you want to know a little more about “Summer’s Circle” check back in later this week.